Saturday, August 21, 2010

Honor Guard

Donovan and Hayden's grandfathers both proudly served the United States. Great Grandpa Everett, a devote Navy man and submariner, recently got to serve our country again when he participated in the northeast Wisconsin Honor Flight which took off and landed at the EAA. Everett was welcomed home by all of us (Melissa, me, Donovan, Hayden, Karolyn, Carson, Sonja, Grandpa Dan and Grandma Sue)in the proudest of fashions.
We had a great time and we are very proud of Great Grandpa Everett!!!

Madison's Children's Museum

We went to the Madison Children's Museum today, along with all of the other children in Dane County other than my sister's kids. It was fun, worth seeing, worth going to again, but I have concerns. Frankly, I am confused. I am not raising my child to become Stanley Kubrick. I want my child to develop a normal imagination. Yet some of the displays and activities at the Museum are frankly creepy.

On the ground level, there is the pointless water room on the ground level smack dab on the edge of the Wilder Ness area which mixes a rustic native american theme with dinosaur bones. There is also the deafening musical instrument hut. They should hand out excedrin at the door before you go into that hut. There is a sheep/buffalo mix pulling a wagon and driver. There is also the lawsuit-waiting-to-happen slide with climbing wall that was probably sponsored by a personal injury firm.

On the upper level, there is a series of old-electrical contraptions that don't work, including a telephone booth with astronomy grafitti. There is also a wood City of Madison playset where kids can build small buildings (nothing taller than the Capital please) and use little cars and equipment. There is also four lego contraptions. There is the giant hamster wheel which D & H loved.

And that brings me to the "Hodge-Podge Mahal." If anyone can tell me what the heck the jungle gym with the tube and rust-looking cage structure, World War II mine-like bobbers, random snake slide, and even-more random screwed up 60's car is based on, then please enlighten me. Donovan and Hayden loved it, but I can only imagine some children will look at it and have nightmares as to how some twisted person could create something so . . . twisted. Here is a theme that you can make a playstructure with: Flowers, trees, or MMSD's sewer system. All would make some sense. Instead, I fear this will untap and bring out the even darker side of our children. A few other preliminary thoughts on the structure: If any child throws up in it, then good luck below. If your child gets stuck in it and you are over 5'8" or 200 lbs., then just leave and go have another child. It would probably be easier to give birth and raise that child anew than to climb and extract your child.

Madison's Farmer's Market

Donovan, Hayden and I went to the Farmer’s Market today on our way to the Children’s Museum. We had a nice time, but for all the wrong reasons. Donovan and Hayden enjoyed people watching, eating their $.43 apple (each), eating big honkin’ venison sticks, M&M cookies (thanks big dude at Stella’s bakery!!!), and drinking from their thermos. On the other hand, I had the jogging stroller with the cow-catcher front end which means only one thing: I get to imagine doing the following scenario--you cut me off, you get the stroller to the back of the calf, and I get to dole out a few punishing blows to people who stand in the middle of the walkway to fight over whether they should by Kohlrabi crap from this stand or from the stand a block-and-a-half back from the crazy organic farmer wearing the ridiculous hat and scarf in the middle of summer to draw attention to himself.

I didn’t purposefully hit anyone today. But I did get to tell a good man that Stella’s Spicy Cheesebread is the only reason to come to the Farmer’s Market. I was promptly corrected by an older lady that there are a lot of good places to shop at the Farmer’s Market. I forgot. Steep N Brew coffee is also a good place to go, but not a reason to go to the Farmer’s Market since Starbucks is also right on the trip.

All that said, I love the farmer’s market. It is one of the best people watching places in the State. Also, I can think of no greater bastion of hypocrisy or place to prove that you are a glutton for punishment than Madison's Farmer's Market. I’ll explain. A family gets into their car, drives ten miles in their SUV to purchase goods from multiple stores. The rest of Wisconsinites do that too when they go to . . . the Mall. Only going to the Mall has much less of an uppity feel to it and there is less price fixing at the mall (all the pints of raspberrys that I saw today were $4.00 per pint . . . you tell me something ain’t up). Also, when I shop at the Mall, I don’t have to be told by numerous people smarter than me that Israel is evil, killing fetuses is acceptable, or that I am not a good father because I do not attend marriage camp. Also, when I go to the mall, I am not forced to walk at 0.7 mph, shoulder to shoulder, on a cramped 10-foot-wide sidewalk, stopping every ten feet. So I guess it is not quite like the mall. Instead, it is like a group of cattle being lead to slaughter. But I like it anyway, especially because Stella’s Bakery gave my kids free cookies.